Monday, January 28, 2013

New LA|Fitness Schedules

Those of us who were members or instructors at Urban Active got used to the schedule changing 3 times a year (Winter, Summer, & Fall).  With LA|Fitness taking over, it's felt like we've been waiting for something to change since January.  And now they have!

Here are links where you can find the online schedules for your LA|Fitness group exercise classes:

Palumbo, click here.

Palomar, click here.

How does this affect you?  Well, there are a dozen new classes between those two Lexington locations.  And... Zumba got the biggest bump on the schedule.  Rebecca snagged a new Friday class, Theresa has her own class, and Kasey is teaching for us again.  There are now 10 Zumba classes a week between the two gyms!

My late-night Monday class at Palumbo has been moved to Tuesdays at 7pm.  I'm pretty sure that means that childcare will be available during my class.  When I started at UA, my first class was Tuesday nights, and I'm happy to be returning to them.  The Saturday class at Palumbo has also been moved back 15 minutes so that it is at noon on the dot.  (I will continue to say good morning, since noon on a Sat is morning in my book.)

I know many of you have been asking for this.  All of the Zumba instructors appreciate the number of you that have been showing up to our classes and bringing friends.  Our huge numbers were one of the biggest factors in considering adding new classes.  Thank you, also, for being vocal with management about what you want and what you enjoy.

These people need more sweat to feel like our classes lately!

So, feel free to add another Zumba class to your schedule, and feel free to try all of the instructors and enjoy the variety that we all have to offer.  And, most importantly, keep coming and sweating en masse.

Happy Dancing,

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New Class (Branching Out)

Starting Thursday, January 24th, 2013, I will be teaching a weekly Zumba class for the YMCA of Central Kentucky.  It's open to the public, and it's ONLY $3!!

The best part?  I live 11 houses away from the new venue (refreshing after driving over 30 minutes to teach some classes)!  I couldn't be more happy to have fallen into this class.  Plus, I think it's where many of us live, and what's more convenient than that?!

The class will be on Thursday evenings at 6:15pm in the cafeteria of the Athens-Chilesburg Elementary (ACE) School off of Hays Blvd, just south of Todds Rd.  If you're ever interested in attending (and you should be ;), my best advice is to come early to fill out some quick paperwork and get your bearings on the layout of the school.

Also, make sure you enter from Hays Blvd!  Recent national incidents have forced the elementary school to lock all of the doors except the one closest to the cafeteria.  You will not be able to get in from Jouett Creek Dr!  If you're coming from Todds Rd, you'll need to make a U-turn immediately after passing the school on your left (the next, small intersection after Jouett Creek Dr).  If you're coming from Athens-Boonesboro/Richmond Rd, reaching the Jouett Creek Dr intersection means you've gone too far.  Here's a little map I edited:

It's in an elementary school cafeteria, so don't expect all of the amenities you're used to at the fancy gyms I teach at (like mirrors).  However, it's cheap and fun (and hopefully close to where many of us live).  Ideal for those of you who don't like other people looking at you in the mirror while you dance.

Happy Dancing,

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Best Compliment Yet

I got my license to teach Zumba in May of 2011.  I made a few friends at the training, 2 of which were a married couple (since he was the only other guy at the training).  At the time we lived about 45 minutes away from each other, but we hoped that we'd be able to meet up again at some point in the future.  Before I knew it (like 2 weeks later) they had contacted me saying that they were subbing for their regular Zumba class and wanted to know if I could come do a song or two.  I had been working on choreography and jumped at the chance to teach in front of a real class.  I drove out to their regular studio in Concord, CA, and we had what we called a "mini master class".

4 brand new instructors after our first class, June 8th, 2011.

Since then I've taught over a hundred classes from California to Kentucky.  I've had classes with 1 person in them, and I've had classes with 150 people in them.  It doesn't matter how many classes I teach, my first will always stick out in my memory.  It was scary, but it was fun, and I think it went well.  Skip ahead 18 months, and this little gem was left on the wall of my Facebook page:

"Hi Rob! You were a guest instructor at the first Zumba Fitness class I ever took. It was at Dance Connection in Concord, CA in Summer 2011. Your energy and fun choreography were very memorable and inspired me to keep taking Zumba classes. Now, I'm an instructor, too, and just taught a sweat-flying, fist pumping class this morning and remembered that first class and wanted to let you know the effect you had! If you're ever back in the Bay Area I would love to host and collaborate with you! You're awesome! :)" ~Kathryn D.-H.

The first class that I partially taught turned out to be Kathryn's first Zumba class, which started her on the journey to become a Zumba Instructor herself.  Not only did this almost make me cry, but it also pointed out an interesting parallel.  I'm a Zumba Instructor today because of a sub that I had at a yoga studio in Oakland while an instructor was out for maternity leave.

I had been taking her classes for a few weeks when she decided to have a Cinco de Mayo Zumba party.  Afterward, while munching on some guacamole, she told me that I should consider becoming an instructor.  I laughed it off, but then she made it clear that she was serious.  In fact, I remember exactly what she said.  "You sparkle.  You are so high energy.  I'd take your class".  She said she was considering opening her own studio soon.  She handed me her card, told me to get my license, and told me to call her afterward.

The instructor that convinced me to become one:  the inspiration.

That instructor eventually got me a job teaching at Club One in San Francisco.  Actually, before I moved to Kentucky, I taught at almost every branch of Club One in San Francisco and Oakland.  From there, I got a job teaching at BORP, and I had plenty of opportunities subbing throughout the Bay Area.  As far as Zumba is concerned, a sub changed my life.

I'm not taking full responsibility for Kathryn becoming an instructor, but words can't describe how proud I am to be even the slightest bit of inspiration in helping her achieve her fitness goals.  I keep a page full of testimonials, more as motivation for myself than to brag (though it could use updating), but it's going to be hard to find a testimonial that means more to me than Kathryn's has.

Thank you all for the support over the years, and I assure you that you all inspire me way more than I could ever return.

Happy Dancing,

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

This is an exciting time of year for all who teach group fitness classes.  There are so many new faces in our gyms.

However, as an engineer, I like to think realistically about resolutions.

It's around this time every year that gyms fill up with all kinds of New Year's Resolutionists.  Losing weight is the top New Year's Resolution every year.  75-80% of the year's annual gym memberships are purchased in the month of January.

What's the typical percentage of people that succeed at keeping a New Year's Resolution (NYR)?  About 8%.  Typically, only 64% make it all the way through January.  Only 45% will make it 6 months.  Scary thought:  almost 1 in 4 people have failed every NYR they have ever made, ever.

Don't fret though, you are ten times more likely to attain a NYR if you are explicit about it and announce it to someone.  However, support for NYRs ebbs pretty heavily after the first few weeks, so don't rely on others to be your constant motivation.

My advice:  at this very moment, forget about your health-related New Year's Resolutions.  Instead, tell yourself you're making a lifestyle change.  Pretend that you decided to change your lifestyle today and remove yourself completely from the thoughts of failed NYRs in your past.  (Heck, pretend that you made the change last September if you need to; don't get caught up in January NYR syndrome.)

Finally, I'd recommend not to focus on weight or body shape as your goals.  I've gone through periods of intense workouts as well as intense couch-sitting over the last decade, yet my stomach has almost always remained the same shape.  Focus on eating better or trying to lift more or trying to run further or trying to last longer.  Those will always help, and they give you goals you can reach without beating yourself up over body image.

And most importantly, come dance with me ;).

Happy New Year & Happy Dancing,